It seems that more and more people are inspired by warplanes to relive their specials, and even Eric Buchholz for his work finds cues from the aviation world.
This is her latest job, a Ducati Monster with so many details that recall flying machines-
Let’s get to know him better and his job.
Where are you coming from?
Who else worked with you?
My shop, Spurius Rotis, is just me at this point.
How can you describe yourself (or your team)?
I’m slightly obsessed with remaking machines the way I think they should’ve been made. I’m a big believer in ‘form follows function’ and prefer textures and metallic tones over delicate paint. I like classic styling with modern performance. I was fortunate enough to find a local photographer with a really good eye for the automotive/motorcycle stuff.
Photos by Tyler Breedwell Photography
What inspired you to start building the bike?
I’m a bit of a history nerd, and have always loved the P-51 Mustang. As I got deeper into the build and history, I chose to use the colors of the ‘checkertails’ of the 325th fighter group. It seemed fitting for the Duc, since they were flying out of Italy.
Where did it come from?
The donor bike was just a clean Craigslist find.
What’s the donor bike, make, model, year?
2001 Ducati Monster 600, aka ‘Mustang Sally’
What was your vision/plan?
I wanted to capture some of the feel and age of the planes, so the riveted sheet metal, exhaust exits, and distressed leather were essential elements. As always, I wanted to get rid of anything that didn’t serve a purpose, and improve overall performance.
What did you do to the bike?
The bodywork, subframe and air/batterybox were ditched, and the suspension was replaced with a mix of later model S4 and 1000DS components. The stance and geometry was slightly altered, and the new specs are closer to Hypermotard stats. The rear suspension mounting, subframe/seat mount, battery box, gas tank, fairing and cowl were all fabbed from scratch. The rivets in the tank all sealed tight, but was still lined with Caswell 2-part sealant. The notoriously unreliable low fuel light was ditched in favor of a traditional petcock with a reserve capacity. Despite it’s appearance, and thanks to relocated electrics, the tank still has a 3 gallon capacity. The speedo/display and SMD LED indicators were mounted recessed to prevent glare and provide better viewing angle. In lieu of the plastic options, I made my own LED/ 304 stainless fork mounted turn signals. Several changes were made to make it more daily rider friendly, like a larger kickstand footprint for parking on hot asphalt, and the steering lock function of the relocated key switch now serves as a helmet lock. After everything was mounted, it was completely rewired, while keeping a 95% factory color code match. The exhaust was fabricated from 304 stainless, and routed through a resonator chamber, with just enough serviceable packing to take the edge off, before being dumped out the 3 ports on each side.
If you’ve upgraded parts, what make did you choose and where from?
Antigravity 4-cell Lith-Ion battery
Factory Pro ti jet kit & emulsion tubes
Showa adjustable forks & shock
Motogadget Motoscope Mini display
Shinko 009 Raven tires
All Balls bearings & fork seals
Uni 2-stage pod filters
Led tail light w/ sequential turn signals
JT 14/46 sprockets
Any interesting challenges, unconfident, or mistakes?
The gas tank was definitely the most challenging, and even after making a wire frame template, I still scrapped 2 designs before choosing one I liked. I was a little concerned about the sound while building the exhaust, but was pleasantly surprised when I finally heard it. It still sounds very Desmo, but somehow a little dirtier.
Tell us about the finish/logos/design?
The sheet metal is all brushed finish and shot with a satin clear designed for bare metal, and the stencil on the tank is the special project number from an original P-51.
How would you describe your bike?
I’d say this build would default as Cafe, but I’m sure that’s debatable.
How does the bike ride?
With the bike weighing only 366 lbs wet, I had to soften up the dampening a bit, but is surprisingly comfortable, especially considering the relatively minimalist seat. The suspension changes paid off, and feels very confident in corners, and performs beyond my abilities. The weight, gearing and jetting changes are definitely noticeable when on the throttle.
What will you do next? New projects?
Next on my ‘to do’ list is either a VFR 750/800 or a Sportster boardtracker.